Mary on Horseback Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is designed to help teachers effectively use the biographical story, 'Mary on Horseback' by Rosemary Wells, to help their students learn about nursing during World War I in Appalachia.

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson on Mary on Horseback by Rosemary Wells, students will be able to:

  • Explain who Mary Breckinridge was and why she is significant in the field of medicine.
  • Discuss how the point of view of the narrator affects the way a story is told.
  • Describe the setting of the story and discuss how it impacts the characters and events.


60 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.


Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.


Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.


  • blueprints
  • brace
  • clinic
  • diphtheria
  • fevers
  • Frontier Nursing Service
  • inoculate
  • population
  • rural
  • vaccine


  • Copies of the worksheet, one for each student
  • Copies of the lesson, one for each student
  • Copies of Mary on Horseback by Rosemary Wells
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Construction paper
  • Crayons

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